Autotrail - removing awning, advice?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by jac-in-a-box, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    '05 AT Dakota with recessed 4m Ormnistor awning

    Looks as though I have water ingress from the forward awning securing
    point on my Dakota...removed the internal cover and found the nuts very loose.

    Rather than leave the awning in place with the nuts nipped up tight and hope that this would be enough to create a seal with whatever sealant remains, I'e got a "gang" together to lift it out and reseal this weekend.

    The awning is recessed into the body and regardless of how I look at it, there is no chance of getting a blade between the mountings of the awning and the recess moulding to cut through any sealant...I don't really want to try and lever it out, the only place to lever would seem to be at the ends against what looks like fragile end caps on the awning.
    Best bet seems to be to remove the awning securing nuts inside the and push against them and hope that'll be enough to break any seal.

    Anyone offer any advice please?

    Thanks, David
     
  2. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    Can you get a loop of fishing nylon round it? I've found that medium strength line with a couple of knots in it will cut silicon - I haven't tried it with butyl. Can you identify the sealant? In my opinion it should NOT be Sikaflex so fishing nylon should work. Removing the awning roll from its casing would help - with it out you should be able to heat the back of the casing with a hot air gun. If you can get it hot enough to be difficult to touch it will cause butyl to let go quite readily.
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I'd hope that they used the non-setting bedding mastic rather than stikaflex.

    >> Rather than leave the awning in place with the nuts nipped up tight and hope that this would be enough

    But what have you to lose trying just tightening ? You could lose a LOT prising it out.
     
  4. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Already considered using fishing line, sadly not a chance. Having the awning cassette housed in a recess rules that out, even if I could do that I've still got to get past the studs on the back of the awning that go through the walls.

    I'm fairly confident that it's non setting mastic that's been used - can some under the washers on the inside spreader plates. Having said that, I've recently taken some windows (with iffy looking seals) out that appeared to be sealed with mastic that gave up easily, but one had Sikaflex...soul destroying getting that out!

    Due to fitting the whole thing into a recessed housing it seems as though the complete awning has to come down if it needed, for example, a change of gearbox....and removing the awning roll; simply not enough room to take it out, can't get either end covers off.
    Unless I'm missing a trick and google isn't showing a lot.

    Might look "nice" having the awning sitting nearly flush with the outside walls, but rubbish for maintenance!

    Thanks for suggestions though:)

    David
     
  5. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Potentially a lot in terms of cash if my tightening up doesn't work!

    Winter is around the corner and I really need to make sure I'm thoroughly watertight. The area that concerns me was more than a little damp.

    As said in my post above, I'm reasonably confident that it's non setting mastic that's been used. With a little gentle persuasion I'm hoping it won't put up too much of a fight!

    David
     
  6. Funnymunny

    Funnymunny Read Only Funster

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    I had to replace the gearbox on my Apache recently and after loosening the nuts inside and taking the end ones off it came away easily so I doubt you will have any problems
     
  7. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    the bedding mastic is behind the mounting brackets, and these stay attached when you release and unhook the awning
     
  8. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Funnymunny and TheBig1 thanks for chipping in...

    Funnymunny, I do hope it comes away as easily as suggest, I'm quietly confident that it will.
    A little curious as to why and more importantly, how did you remove the end caps, I had a quick look and can't see any obvious way of taking them off?

    I was hoping to simply remove the nuts from inside and "push" the whole unit out on the studs, it looks to me as though the securing mounts are integral to the complete unit.

    The Big1...I'm a little lost/confused with the "release and unhook" part. There is no room to move the complete awning up, down or any other way when in the moulded recess. What little I've found on the net that seems possible for awnings that are not in this Autotrail moulded recess.

    Thanks, David
     
  9. Funnymunny

    Funnymunny Read Only Funster

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    My son helped me get it off and he took the end cap off, I think it was just a case of pulling it off. I cant remember if he had to take any screws out but don't think so I will ask him tomorrow.
     
  10. Funnymunny

    Funnymunny Read Only Funster

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    If you do a search for the gearbox parts on the net you will find a schematic drawing that you can blow up, I think it is on Leisure shop directs website.
     
  11. Funnymunny

    Funnymunny Read Only Funster

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  12. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Yes, seen the drawing - not the best though.

    Di I need to take end caps off and would I be right in assuming the mounting brackets/bolts are an integral part of the awning?

    I've been scratching my head of TheBig1's comment about unhooking the awning!

    David
     
  13. Funnymunny

    Funnymunny Read Only Funster

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    David
    I have just spoken to my son and he said he thinks there was 2 screws in the end cap and then it just unclipped. As far as I know it is just bolted on, undo the bolts and it pulls away.
    Best of luck with it and let us know how you get on

    Ron
     
  14. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the info' Ron. Tried getting the end cap off at the winder end - found the screws but no way will the cap come off. There is insufficient room between cap end in end the the recess moulding.

    I think/ hope I 've managed to seal around the bolts without having to remove the complete awning...maybe considered a bodge job, but I 'll monitor the area with the damp meter and see how it goes through the winter.

    With the nuts removed from the load bearing plates inside we tried gently levering the cassette out - the only area that gave a little was the end where I had water leaks (good sign as it confirmed there was defective sealing?)
    Wedged the cassette from outside and then drilled some 6mm holes around each bolt, through the wallboard and through the plastic recess moulding until I hit the back of the awning - holes placed at 12, 4 & 8 o'clock positions. Then 3 x 2mm holes in between the larger ones.
    Then pumped in plenty of IDL99 until it oozed out of the 2mm holes.
    Wedges removed and tightened up the bolts. Feel confident that I've now got a good bed of sealant around each bolt and should stop any further water ingress...said optimistically!

    Thoughts?

    David
     
  15. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    It's possible he was referring to conventional surface mounting: that uses three or more extruded aluminium brackets bolted through the van wall. The awning case has two bead-type extrusions along its length at rear top & bottom. One hooks into a matching shape at the top of each bracket & the other does similarly at the bottom (rather like cabinet sliding glass). A self-tapper screwed into one or more of the brackets prevents the awning from moving. The system works extremely well: removal of the self-tappers allows the whole awning to be lifted off the van (by two or more people :) ).
     
  16. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Yes, I reckoned that was what TheBig1 was referring to. If only the awning arrangement on my AT had been the same it would've been a nice straightforward job!

    Still, feel confident my work-around will do the trick,

    Thanks, David
     
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